Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Antidepressants can save lives but they made me want to kill"

Documentary filmmaker Katinka Blackford Newman writes in The Independent:

I had a vague recollection of the last year. It had started when I had hit a wall of despair while going through a divorce. Sleepless nights took me to a psychiatrist, who prescribed escitalopram, a common antidepressant. Within hours I was hallucinating, believed I had attacked my children, and stabbing myself with a knife, an event which I still have no recollection of.

I ended up in a private hospital where doctors clearly thought I had a screw loose when I told them I was being filmed and that I had a suicide pact with God. My psychosis ended when I said I wanted to stop taking the antidepressant, but doctors insisted I take more pills to treat stabilise my mental health. This began a terrible decline during I couldn’t leave the house, dress myself, finish a sentence. Worst of all, I couldn’t feel love for my children, Lily and Oscar, aged 10 and 11 at the time.

It was pure luck that I got better. At the end of a year, my private insurance ran out and I ended up sectioned at an NHS hospital. They made a decision that, without doubt, saved my life. I was taken off all five drugs. I was climbing the walls, screaming, shouting, and begging my family to get me out of there.

But then, one day, I woke up and I was fine. And that was where I found myself a few days before my 48th birthday in October 2013.

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